GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Hurricane Michael significantly impacted the beekeeping industry in the Florida Panhandle.
The area is home to about 500 registered beekeepers and nearly 50,000 colonies, which amounts to more than 1.2 billion bees. These colonies are vital to Florida agriculture because the bees pollinate many of the state’s crops.
Beekeepers in the Florida Panhandle are racing to save their colonies as many forage resources — blooming trees and flowers — were destroyed in the hurricane. Furthermore, many of the colonies have been destroyed, damaged or otherwise cannot be accessed due to the hurricane.
You can help in the effort. The Florida State Beekeepers Association established a GoFundMe if you would like to make a donation. All funds donated are tax-deductible and will be used to buy supplies needed by the affected beekeepers.
Also, beekeepers may need help working their colonies once they are able to access the area. If you would like to volunteer, call the Florida State Beekeepers Association hotline at 985-664-9606.